Singapore shares weaken on slower manufacturing activity
SINGAPORE, June 4 (Reuters) - Singapore shares eased on Wednesday after a survey showing the city-state's manufacturing activity grew in May but at a slower pace than in the previous month, took a toll on investor appetite, while commodities and property stocks declined on profit booking.
The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) fell to 50.8 from April's 51.1. The previous month's figure was the highest since October.
"The market has been trading sideways for a while, with not many fresh catalysts," said OCBC investment analyst Carey Wong. "Manufacturing numbers aren't very strong either."
The benchmark Straits Times Index slipped 0.5 percent to 3,280.35. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 percent.
The Singapore index was also weighed down by losses in real estate and diversified industrials stocks, with both sectors declining 0.15 percent and 0.18 percent respectively.
Frasers Centrepoint Ltd fell as much as 4.2 percent after the real estate company made a surprise A$2.6 billion ($2.41 billion) cash takeover bid for Australia's Australand Property Group.
Australand shares, however, soared as much as 7 percent to their six-year high after the deal was announced.
Ascendas REIT, the newest entrant to the index, was the top traded stock on the Singapore index by value. The stock fell as much as 3.3 percent, extending losses into a fourth day.
ADVISORY: There will be no longer be a Singapore midday stock market reports from Monday, June 9. Please direct any queries to Asia Markets Editor Nachum Kaplan on firstname.lastname@example.org
(Reporting by Andrew Toh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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